Thursday, November 07, 2013

Innovation through system thinking: hockey

( "Freddie[Shero] was the first coach to use team systems," Clarke said. "Everybody played the same way on the ice. Every player was taught the same way, even though different players had different roles. And that was way ahead of hockey's time. Nobody else ever did that. … He was by far the most progressive coach ever."
 One of the hallmarks of system thinking is to approach a problem at two levels: individual element (player) and the system as a whole (team). Shero treated the entire team as a unit, making sure it executes a certain set of game strategies, while other coaches before him focused on the player.

Another example of system thinking would be historical insights into a "new big thing." For example, historian Fernand Braudel, who covers the emergence of capitalism in the 15-18th centures, writes:
To use one of Kula's metaphors, one must keep looking down into the well, into the deepest water, down into material life, which is related to market prices but is not always affected or changed by them. So, any economic history that is not written on two levels-that of the well's rim and that of the depths-runs the risk of being appallingly incomplete. (Afterthoughts on Material Civilization and Capitalism. p. 42).
In our invention system (Scalable Innovation, chapter 9), we use the Three Magicians method to help people develop system thinking by "leveling up", i.e. looking at what they are creating from a different, higher perspective. As Alan Kay famously said, a change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points. 

tags: system, invention, innovation, creativity, psychology, magicians, imagination

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